Sunday, 15 August 2010

Pakistan needs help, now and in future

You will no doubt have seen the pictures and heard the news of the total carnage in Pakistan caused by the worst flooding in 80 years. Much of the "land of the pure" has been washed away including whole communities, their arable land and communication infrastructures.

People are homeless, some temporarily, others watched helplessly as their homes were washed away, along with all their goods, clothes, livestock and everything else they own.

Others are sleeping with their animals, drinking contaminated water and leaving themselves open to terrible diseases such as cholera, dysentry, botulism and typhoid.

The UN estimate 14 million people are affected. Pakistan's government puts the figure at 20 million. Whichever figure is accurate, the suffering is huge, unprecedented, and we at WIN are bound and determined to do what we can to alleviate it.

Obviously, the first thing on our to do list is an emergency relief effort. People need food, fresh water, clothing, blankets, shelter. In this instance, we are asking our supporters to offer money rather than goods, as things can be bought more cheaply in the area, which has added bonuses of shoring up a ruined economy and avoiding the cost of shipping goods out. It's also quicker. We can also arrange for medicines and other needs to be met in this way.

Once the floods recede, the problem will not be solved. Many people will have no homes to return to, no livelihoods. These will all have to be rebuilt froms cratch, as will roads, hospitals, schools and other parts of the infrastructure. Communications systems will need repair. The top soil will need relaying to make the farm lands viable again, wells will need to be purified so that water is fit to drink. Until the people can replace the crops they lost, and grow more, we will need to provide food and other basic necessities.

World In Need has people who work in Peshawar and Islamabad. They know the area and the people. With our help, their input to the rescue operation can be massive.

If you feel you can help in this matter, please stop and do so. You may think the amount you can give is tiny, but please believe, every penny makes a difference. And if you are a UK tax payer, we can also gift aid the amount, which allows us to reclaim the tax from the Government.
You can send donations to:

World In Need
Trinity Hall
Mill Crescent
East Sussex

or to Cheques to be made payable to World In Need with a cover note restricting the gift to the World In Need Pakistan emergency aid appeal. You can also donate by phone on 01892 669834 during office hours.

'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

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